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FACULTY LIAISON HANDBOOK Helpful information and resources; Managing diďŹƒcult issues

Update May 13, 2013


Faculty Liaison Handbook

Helpful Tips & Managing Difficult Issues

TABLE OF CONTENTS PART I:

GETTING STARTED

Introduction: Why the Field Manual is Your Friend SSW Website Student List New Field Educator / Task Supervisor Orientation

PART II

COMMUNICATION: HELPFUL TIPS, CHECKLISTS & TEMPLATES

Introduction: Helpful Tips and Points to Consider First Site Visit Sample Agenda for Liaison Visit Sample Communication Checklist Sample Correspondence

PART III

COMMON REQUESTS

Requests to Accept Employment at Field Agency Schedule Changes

PART IV

WHEN ISSUES ARISE

Introduction Expectations: Student Behavior Roles & Responsibilities (FE, Liaison, and Student – See Field Manual) NASW Code of Ethics (See Field Manual; NASW Website) SSW Expectations for Professional Decorum / UB Student Code of Conduct Behaviors & Decision to Not Replace (Internal: Please do not share.) Time & Attendance: A Common Concern Steps to Take When a Problem Arises / Addendums and When They are Needed See Also Forms: Faculty Summary Report (Required Form – Due Before Field Status Review Meeting. See Field Status Review Policy in Field Manual)

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Sample Field Summary Report #1 Sample Field Summary Report #2 Sample Addendum

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PART I: GETTING STARTED

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ITRODUCTION (OR WHY THE FIELD MANUAL IS YOUR FRIEND) The Field Manual contains virtually everything Field Educators, Students —and Faculty Liaisons—need to know about the Field Education Course. Looking for contact information? Roles and responsibilities? Evaluation guidelines? The School’s Mission & Vision? The calendar of start‐end dates and due dates? You’ll find all of this and more in the Field Manual! Whether you print out a copy for yourself, or bookmark it on your internet browser, you will want to keep the Field Manual handy.

SSW WEB SITE Thousands of hours have been devoted to developing a user-friendly web site for field educators and students. Should you be familiar with the web site? Yes! Make your job easier by taking Field Educators and Students on a tour though the Field portion of the School’s web. If you are comfortable finding what you need, the students and educators will be too! What resources can be found on the website? Aside from the Field Manual, resources on completing the learning contract and conducting supervision can be found here. Applications for tuition waivers can be found on the web. Event information can be found on the web site. Learning Contract and Evaluation forms can be found on the web site. All of these resources are not just helpful for educators and students, but for liaisons, too.

STUDENT LIST You will receive a listing of students assigned to you in the third or fourth week of August. As additional placements are finalized, updated lists will be sent. Placement information may change due to agency changes, and late admission of some students. Please contact the field office with any questions. Students are informed about who their Faculty liaison is during the first week of their field placement. Students are emailed the contact information and are expected to share this with their field educator.

NEW FIELD EDUCATORS / NEW TASK SUPERVISORS: ORIENTATION & UPDATES The student list mentioned above will indicate whether there is Task Supervisor. (The Field Manual provides a description of the Task Model and the role of the Task Supervisor.) The list will also indicate where continuing Field Educators require Orientation Updates, and where new Field Educators and Task Supervisors require Orientation. The Field Office has Orientation Packets ready for Liaisons by early August. Recall that orientations are being provided onsite, in an individualized way, as a service to our Educators. The key is to point the Educators to resources on the web, and to emphasize your availability should problems or questions arise. Liaisons are provided instruction around Orientation by the Field Office. If you have any questions please contact us! 5


Faculty Liaison Handbook

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PART II: COMMUNICATION: HELPFUL TIPS, CHECKLISTS & TEMPLATES

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HELPFUL TIPS AND POINTS TO CONSIDER Coordination and communication are often the key to a successful placement. Where there are additional people involved, as in the task model, including them in all communications is important. Copying the student, educator and task supervisor on all communication can help to ensure that everyone is “on the same page”. Some helpful tips are as follows: •

CC: FE and Task Supervisor on general emails to students.

Invite Task Supervisor to all meetings.

Invite communication with follow-up emails and phone calls.

If there is any hint of problem, call FE and student directly and inform the Field office immediately.

Make no promises without consultation with Field Office.

Reinforce that there is something to learn from every experience.

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FIRST SITE VISIT A good rule-of-thumb is to speak with the student alone, either by phone prior to the visit or by carving out time at the visit. Even if there is more than one student placed at a site please ensure that you speak with each student alone. Always meet separately with the F E and the Task Supervisor, without the student present, either by phone prior to the visit or at the visit. If you have not spoken with the above individuals in detail prior to the visit, a typical visit may last about one hour. Let the FE and student know prior to the visit that you will want to meet with one, then the other and then the 3 of you will meet. Regarding timeframe, please try to set up appointments for your site visits early in the semester. The longer you wait the more everyone’s schedule fills up!! Try to set up all site visits to occur during midsemester.

SAMPLE AGENDA FOR FIELD VISIT (WHERE ORIENTATION IS NOT TAKING PLACE) 1. Introductions 2. Housekeeping -Is there a task supervisor model? Yes No -If yes, are there meetings between field educator & task supervisor? Yes -Using SSW Timesheets? Yes No -Has the student shared course syllabi with the educator as required? Yes -Educator and student have discussed agency policies around safety? Yes -Educator & student have discussed requirements related to docume ntation?

No No No Yes

No

2. Field Contract (Mention resources on the SSW web): -Reviewed Placement Schedule; Discussed Attendance Policy -Site specific objectives? -Are the activities substantive enough to demonstrate competency by placement completion? -How will objectives and activities change as the student develops skills and experience? -Signatures -Progress (Semester Two) 3. Supervision (Mention resources on the SSW web; Supervision Record Form): -When are the student and supervisor (s) meeting? -Is the student coming in prepared with questions and discussion points? With the Supervision Record Form filled out? -Has the student shared current and relevant course syllabi and class information? -Is there an opportunity to discuss concerns (of the student or supervisor) during supervision? -How will concerns (of the student or supervisor) be addressed over the school year? 4. Time and Attendance: -Is the student maintaining responsible time and attendance? -Are the time sheets being completed? 5. Additions, questions and concerns. 8


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SAMPLE COMMUNICATION CHECKLIST Dates

Student Name: Sent initial email to student and FE. Received response from student. Follow-up phone call if more than one week. Received response from FE. Follow-up phone call if more than one week. Reviewed contract, provided feedback if needed and approved. Appointment for site visit set. Sent reminder email with agenda to student and FE. Sent follow-up email and/or site visit to student and FE.

__________ Completed site visit report for Field office. __________ Received evaluation. Reviewed and sent email to student and FE. Follow-up and notes:

Initial email to students I hope your first few weeks of field have gone well. I am e-mailing to introduce myself. My name is Jane Doe, and I am your field faculty liaison from the UB School of Social Work. This is to confirm that you have been assigned to me as one of my field students. I hope to talk with you soon to answer any questions or concerns you may have. I also will be contacting your field educator to introduce myself and to set a convenient time for us all to meet together this semester. This will be an opportunity for us to discuss your placement and learning progress. My role is to assist you in your progression through your field placement this year. To assist me with this process, please verify that this is indeed the email address that I can use to get information to you. Please respond as soon as you read this e-mail with your field schedule and your supervision schedule. If you would, please add my email address to your own address book so as to get messages to me ASAP. I am available to you for any questions or concerns as they arise, so please do not hesitate to contact me. I can be reached through this email, me@buffalo.edu any time or by phone, 716-867-5309. Please leave a message, and if I am not available and I will get back to you as soon as possible. I will do my best to assist you in making your placement a good learning experience. Also, I have a mailbox in the copy room next to the main social work office (685 Baldy). Just ask the staff in the main office or in the field office (636 Baldy) to place anything there as needed. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Please keep this e-mail for reference.

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INITIAL EMAIL TO FIELD EDUCATOR / TASK SUPERVISOR (SEE BELOW SAMPLE FOR MEETING WHERE ORIENTATION IS NEEDED) Good Afternoon _FE / Task Sup e rvisor__, I wanted to touch ba se with you and thank you for t a king a stu dent from the UB School of Social Work this year. My name is Jane Doe and I will be actin g as the faculty liaison this year. As the faculty liaison I a m responsible for assisting you and your student in making this a positive learning experi ence. In doing so, it is my responsibility to maintain all records, including the learning contracts and evaluations. Additionally, I will need to come out and make a site visit where I will sit with you and ____________ to discuss the learning in the pl acem ent setting and field any questions or concerns you may have. Please let me know when you have supervisio n and I will try to arrange my sched u le to visit your site at that time. I ha ve othe r students at your site and I am trying to coordinate those as well. Thank you very much for your assista nce with this process. I look forward to meeting with both of you a nd learning more about the placement. Hope to hear from you soon. As alwa ys, please do not hesitate to contact me if the need arises, all my contact information is f o und below.

INITIAL EMAIL TO FIELD EDUCATOR / TASK SUPERVISOR WHERE ORIENTATION IS NEEDED Good Afternoon _Fe Name / Task Supervisor If applicable

,

I wanted to touch base with you and thank you for taking a student from the UB School of Social Work this year. My name is Jane Doe and I will be acting as the faculty liaison this year. As the faculty liaison I am responsible for assisting you and your student in making this a positive learning experience. To be respectful of your time, the UB SSW Field Department moved to providing on-site orientations for Field Educators (and Task Supervisors) several years ago. Please let me know a convenient time for me to visit. I’ll point you to helpful information and resources, and answer any questions you may have about this important role. The meeting requires no more than an hour, but I am happy to spend as much time as you like, or would be helpful. Please let me know when you have supervision and I will try to arrange my schedule to visit your site at that time. I have other students at your site and I am trying to coordinate those as well. Thank you very much for your assistance with this process. I look forward to meeting with both of you and learning more about the placement. Hope to hear from you soon. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if the need arises, all my contact information is found below. It is also my responsibility to maintain all records, including the learning contracts and evaluations. Additionally, I will need to come out and make a site visit where I will sit with you and discuss the learning in the placement setting and field any questions or concerns you may have.

to

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MEETING REMINDER TO: Field Educator, Task Supervisor (If applicable), and Student This is just a reminder that we will be meeting on at your oďŹƒce on . Thank you again for coordinating this with me. I have attached an agenda for the meeting. Please let me know if you have any additions or concerns you would like to address at the meeting. Please have your copies of the contract with you for discussion and signature. Thank you.

THANK YOU FOR MEETING WITH ME Dear

Student / FE /Task Supervisor_,

It was great to meet you at our site visit. Thank you for taking the time to talk with me about the contract and placement. It looks like you have things well coordinated and are setting the course for a great learning experience. Please don't hesitate to contact me if the need arises.

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PART III

Helpful Tips & Managing Difficult Issues

COMMON REQUESTS

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Common Requests: Schedule Changes; “Making up” Time There are some requests that come up fairly frequently. While we stress, for example, that student schedules are fixed at the start of the year, there are times when a student’s schedule needs to be altered. Sometimes a student needs to make up hours due to illness. Any time that a student’s schedule changes significantly, the change should be delineated in writing, and be signed off on by the student, educator and liaison. This ensures that substantive learning is available, and that the agency and the field educator are in agreement. If hours are being “made-up” due to significant time away from field, i.e. due to illness, or if the hours are extending beyond the end of the term, please submit the final agreement to the Field Director for approval. Students’ registration and financial aid can be impacted by these changes, and consideration must be given to the appropriate grade.

Common Requests: Requests to Accept Employment As soon as the issue of possible employment with the agency arises, the Field Office should be made aware. Students are provided with a form which delineates the difference between placement and job responsibilities, identifies supervisors, etc. This formality relates to CSWE requirements around employment and field. Students should submit the form to the Field Office prior to accepting employment.

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PART IV

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WHEN ISSUES ARISE

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HAS THIS ISSUE EVER COME UP BEFORE? Chances are if an issue arises, it is one that the Field Office has encountered many time before. The student wishes to accept employment at the field agency? There’s a form for that! The Field Office aims to apply policies and procedures across all circumstances, and when possible, apply any exceptions to policy in a way that is fair. Thus, never hesitate to check with the Field Office no matter how big or small an issue may be. That old saying of, “Why reinvent the wheel?”, definitely applies to the field course. We know that problems can arise in field. When they do, a student’s first instinct may be to ask for a new placement. Please respond to any such requests in a way that is neutral, i.e. don’t respond ‘That sounds like it will be fine but I need to check first’. When any of us are hoping to hear that our request will be approved we may ‘hear what we want to hear’. So a response that begins with a statement that sounds like the request will be approved may be interpreted that the request has been approved. There are criteria for changing a student’s placement, but our first step is always to engage in a problem-solving framework. Effectively solving a problem, with the support of the Liaison and Field Office, can contribute tremendously to a student’s growth. Often learning style differences or miscommunications are underneath the presenting concerns. There are certainly times when a change in placement is called for, either after attempting to problem solve, or when there are concerns for a student’s health and safety. Please consult with the Field Office for support. Criteria for student to change placements: 1) Inadequate supervision (not receiving minimum one hour per week supervision; 2) Inadequate educational opportunities; 3) Population/agency is triggering student and causing emotional harm; 4) Relationship appears to be unworkable; and, 5) if a student is in jeopardy of failing, unless the above criteria is met, the student is not replaced.

EXPECTATIONS: STUDENT BEHAVIOR Please note that student responsibilities are discussed in Foundation Year Field Lab/ Orientation. Please familiarize yourself with these; a comprehensive list of student, educator and liaison responsibilities can be found in their most up-to-date version of the Field Manual. Students also sign and submit an acknowledgment form which states that they have reviewed these. Examples of common issues or problems that students have: •

Inability to establish relationships at the basic level due to lack of sensitivity and feeling (empathy?) for people as well as difficulty disciplining his/her own feeling responses.

Concrete issues such as; Time and attendance, not following agency policy about computer, dress code, cell phone use etc.

Preoccupation with own needs and feelings.

Inability to do case planning.

Persistent problem viewing client systems objectively with overemphasis on either positive or negative aspects of a situation.

Inability to be self-reflective.

Limited ability to conceptualize.

Behavior in supervisory relationship indicating limited ability to involve self in the learning process and a high degree of defensiveness. Frequent need for external controls and propulsion for learning.

Evidence of a lack of personal integrity throughout performance.

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University at Buffalo School of Social Work MSW Program Expectations for Professional Decorum An important part of students’ socialization into the social work profession is the practice of professional decorum in the classroom, field placement and the larger campus. By learning and demonstrating professional and ethical behaviors, students will be better prepared to achieve success as professional social workers as they practice. The University at Buffalo School of Social Work expects students to build upon their strengths and accomplishments that they bring into the program, and to be their best professional selves while interacting with peers, staff, administrators, supervisors, agency personnel, consumers/clients and all other persons. Throughout the UBSSW and in all our professional interactions, we strive to foster safety, collaboration, choice, trustworthiness, and empowerment, which are the principles of trauma-informed service delivery. 1. Integrity • Practice honesty with self, peers, instructors, supervisors. • Practice academic integrity (e.g., properly cite the work of others to avoid plagiarism). • Accept constructive feedback from colleagues (i.e., peers, faculty, staff, administrators, field supervisors). • Provide constructive feedback to colleagues, such as on course evaluations and in class discussions. • Use feedback to enhance your performance. 2. Communication • Practice professional communication skills. Be assertive, positive, constructive, respectful and nonjudgmental. • Be respectful of colleagues in all electronic and web-based communications. 3. Accountability • Arrive on time for classes and field and return promptly from breaks. • Observe deadlines and complete assignments on time. • Actively participate in class. • Dress according to the professional expectations of the field placement. • Report any violations of academic integrity that come to your attention. 4. Respect • Show positive regard towards peers, faculty, staff, administrators, and all persons. • Practice active listening skills. • Advocate for self and use appropriate channels of communication for resolving conflicts (e.g., professors, field liaisons). • Practice empathy and compassion. • Observe instructors’ guidelines around appropriate use of laptops, ipads and cell phones in class. 5. Competence • Exhibit a conscientious attitude towards school work and field. • Apply knowledge and research findings to professional performance. • Respect deadlines. • Prepare for class in advance (e.g., reading assigned materials). • Seek academic support when needed (e.g., research & writing tutors). • Prioritize responsibilities. • Assume responsibility for the quality of your work. • Be self-aware and self-monitor personal issues that could impede effectiveness with clients. 6. Diversity • Be open to and appreciative of new ideas, beliefs and people that are unfamiliar to you.

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Demonstrate a willingness to learn about different cultures and populations. Be open to discussion and constructive feedback about the impact of stereotyping, biases, language, values and beliefs on individuals and groups.

7. Confidentiality, Self- Care and Boundaries • Respect professional expectations around confidentiality. • Exercise discretion in disclosing personal information during class and field. • Seek help when personal issues may interfere with school performance. • Integrate self-care into your weekly routine. • Uphold professional boundaries between you, peers, faculty, staff, supervisors and other professionals. These expectations are congruent with the ethical values and standards laid down by the NASW Code of Ethics (http:// www.socialworkers.org/pubs/code/code.asp), the academic integrity policies and procedures that are found in the UB Graduate School Policies and Procedures Manual (http://www.grad.buffalo.edu/policies/academicintegrity.php#preamble), and the University at Buffalo Student Code of Conduct (http://www.ub-judiciary.buffalo.edu/11rulesp.pdf). Students should also consult the Student Handbook and be familiar with the UBSSW’s Impairment Policy and procedures related to referring students to the Committee on Students for violations of professional ethics and behaviors. The School of Social Work will not consider ignorance of these expectations and the above policies as a defense for unprofessional and unethical behavior. (UB SSW 2012)

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The following are some behaviors that indicate problems in field placement performance that likely will lead to termination or failure. A Field Status Review meeting is held, and the hope is that the student will demonstrate a degree of insight about their behavior. a. Not keeping to the field hours agreed upon (e.g., arriving late, leaving early, disappearing during the day, unexcused absences). b. Violating agency policies. c. Failing to notify the field educator of any schedule changes. d. Disruptive behavior, such as swearing at sta and/or clients, and not using agency mechanisms for problem-solving or to resolve complaints when it would be reasonable to do so. e. Using cell phone or social media for personal matters while at field placement after being informed that such use is not appropriate at the placement. f.

Rejecting feedback from the field educator or task supervisor.

g. Passivity in the role of learner. h. Misuse or unauthorized use of agency property. i.

Inability to develop collaborative relationships. Inability to manage conflict.

j.

Creating a condition which endangers or threatens the health, safety, or welfare of another person.

k. Inability to complete tasks for any reason, including those due to personal problems, psychosocial distress, legal problems, substance abuse, or mental health diďŹƒculties that are interfering with their professional judgment and performance. l.

Adherence to stereotypes that interfere with practice.

m. Judgmental and critical attitudes. n. Inability to communicate eectively such that practice behaviors and competencies cannot be attained. o. Violation of NASW Code of Ethics (related to student ignorance versus disregard).

Behaviors which are extreme, such as the following, will likely result in dismissal from the program (following a Field Status Review meeting: a. Causing physical harm to clients or colleagues. b. Behavior emotionally damaging to clients (e.g., insulting or berating clients, swearing at clients, calling clients names). c. Violation of NASW Code of Ethics related to disregard of clients, agency and/or field instructor. Illegal behavior (stealing; drug use).

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TIME AND ATTENDANCE: A COMMON CONCERN (ALSO SEE THE FIELD MANUAL) The schedule for the duration of the placement should be decided at the very start of placement. Once a schedule is agreed upon, it is documented on the cover page of the student’s learning contract. Of course, things come up. If a short leave is expected, i.e. a student is pregnant and will be taking a short leave later in the semester, a written plan that includes the student’s, field educator’s, and liaison’s signature must be put in place. If a student misses time due to an illness or accidence, a written plan that includes the student’s, field educators, and liaison’s signature must be put in place. The plan should include a schedule of how and when missed hours will be made-up, and the timeframe for completion. Please note that the goal is NOT to put in time, but for the student to engage in substantive learning. Making up time on evenings and weekends, for example, may fit the student’s schedule, but may not fulfill the real goal of field placement.

STEPS TO TAKE WHEN A STUDENT IS HAVING PROBLEM / ADDENDUMS TO THE LEARNING CONTRACT An addendum is needed whenever there are concerns about a student’s performance, and/ or where there are ratings of IP or UP. Addendums are given to help students be successful. When, the field educator and/or the student are stressed, communication can become unclear. The addendum is added to the learning contract’s objectives and must be written in behaviorally specific language to clearly state what the area of concern is and what is considered acceptable performance. Sometimes performance concerns relate to unevenness in progress or slow progress related to the application of theory and the development of skills. The student may have periods of improved functioning and responsiveness to specific direction from the field educator; however it is not up to the level expected. The addendum specifies: What the field educator will do to assist the student in learning the new skill, i.e. new instructional methods may be applied. For example, journaling, role playing, video/audio taping or some other tool to help the student learn the needed skill (s). “If we change nothing, nothing will change.” An exception to this may be if the area of concern is regarding professional work skills e.g. the student is late to placement or has called in too many times. The necessary change may be that the student has to check in with someone to verify they have come in on time etc. 2. What the student’s responsibility will be. 3. The addendum should be written in behavioral terms, and indicate how it will be determined when competence is obtained. 4. The addendum should reference specific learning contract objectives. 1.

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APPENDIX

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Field Summary Report Example 1 (Following Termination of Failure) Student: Field Placement: Date: Submitted by: (Faculty Liaison) Briefly describe concerns, indicating the SSW competency or competencies each concern is associated with, and efforts around remediation: (Field Educator) contacted this writer with concerns about the student’s performance in October. (She) explained that concerns had arisen early in the Fall term, and that the student had been given constructive feedback and support, but little progress had been made. Issues included: 1) unprofessional behavior (raising voice in response to Field Educator request and becoming argumentative); 2) not accepting and integrating constructive feedback; and, 3) disregarding program/field site procedures on several occasions. [Competency #1: Identify as a professional social worker, apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice and conduct oneself accordingly.] Thus, a meeting was held on (date) to discuss these concerns. When asked directly about her behavior, (student) stated that she was not doing anything inappropriate, and seemed unable to take responsibility for problematic behaviors. With support, she was able to state that it was a mistake to continue use of her cell phone. A formal plan for improvement/ an addendum was developed in mid‐December. (See attached.) Specific behaviors: Not following procedures, i.e. in the use of personal cell phone. resistance to feedback i.e. argumentative when Field Educator is not in agreement with him Not following Field Educator’s directives, and at times disregarding agency policy. In Summary: During this semester, (student) was provided feedback regarding a number of areas that needed to be improved (please refer to attached addendum and evaluation for specifics). During the meetings that this writer was in attendance, (Student) appeared to be open to feedback received. (Student) made some progress, however it was not enough to place her at a level of competence or emerging competence at the end of the semester period.

Signature (Required)

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Field Summary Report Example 2 (Following Termination or Failure) Student: Field Placement: Submitted by: (Faculty Liaison)

Date:

On October 11, 2011, I met with Elizabeth Dole, Field Educator at Super Duper School. Elizabeth was the Field Educator for Elton John, FT Foundation Year student with the UB SSW. During our initial meeting Elizabeth immediately expressed her concerns regarding Elton who had begun his field placement with her about 3 weeks before. The atmosphere at the field placement is congruent with many other school Social work sites; a fast paced environment with significant crisis work. The Social Workers and interns interact with a multitude of systems within the district: administrators, teachers, staff, parents and child associates in a host setting. Elizabeth had received feedback about Elton from several of her co-workers and the Principal describing Elton’s interactional style as one that was perceived as being challenging, overconfident and not necessarily appropriate for a beginning foundation year student. One of the staff that Elton interacted with had 25 years of experience and she reported that Elton asked her “Isn’t there a more efficient way of doing this?” When Elton was told to do screenings with children, he apparently asked about what his other options might be. On the surface, these questions could appear to be within reason because students are responsible for asking questions. However, Elizabeth explained that it was the manner the questions were asked and the number of questions asked that fed into the perception that Elton was being contrary and challenging authority. Elizabeth reported a similar perception of Elton when she spent time with him discussing cases. Elizabeth stated that she felt strongly that this placement would not be a good fit for Elton in part because she was called out of her office frequently and she was not confident that Elton would seek out assistance before responding to issues that may arise. Elizabeth explained that Elton would need to report to several people with a variety of work styles in a fast paced environment. Elton appeared to be overwhelmed in this setting as demonstrated by his response to those in authority and their directives. Specific behaviors identified by the Educator include: • Frequent questioning of School procedures • Questioning Field Educator directives • Questioning various aspects of assigned activities. The Field Educator refers to the above as a “pattern of behavior” that may make the student unsuited to the setting. Later in the afternoon (10/11/11), Zoe Koston, Elton and I met to discuss the issues raised by Elizabeth Dole, Elton’s Field Educator. Elton was quite surprised by the feedback he received regarding how his actions had been perceived. Elton explained that in his attempts to perform his responsibilities at placement, he often questioned each staff member to fully understand what they wanted from him. However, upon further discussion Elton disclosed that interacting with a variety of people who provided him instruction raised his anxiety resulting in an ‘intensity’ of his questions and manner. This appears to have been perceived by others as being challenging, although that was not Elton’s intent. In addition, there appears to have been miscommunication between at least one supervisor and Elizabeth. Elton apparently had asked for clarification regarding how to complete a form and the supervisor told Elton that he could write notes/observations in the margins, however when this was reviewed by others it was interpreted that as being inappropriate. (Continued next page)

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Elton was informed that a meeting was scheduled for the next morning with him, his Field Educator, Justin Timberlake the contact person for the Super Duper School District and me (Faculty Liaison). We discussed possible outcomes to the scheduled meeting which included the possibility of his termination from this placement. His responses indicated he realized how serious the situation was and he would accept responsibility and move forward. We met the following morning (10/12/11) with Elizabeth, Justin, Elton and I to discuss areas of concerns and possible outcomes. Elizabeth provided feedback to Elton that his approach to directives and his recent responses to Elizabeth and various staff members created a sense of uncertainty as to how he might react in crisis situations that may require an immediate response. Elizabeth explained that she did not feel she could trust that an appropriate response by Elton would occur. She clearly indicated that this placement would not meet Elton’s learning needs at this time. Elton heard these difficult words with professionalism and maturity. He clarified his responses to his actions, took responsibility for their impact, apologized for any misconceptions that were perceived and clearly indicated that it was not his intent to cause any harm or stress. He agreed that continuation of this placement would cause increased stress to the Field Educator and himself. Again, the school environment requires working with so many systems and quick responses that as this time it appears Elton is not ready for this type of placement. Justin complimented Elton on his reaction to a difficult meeting and indicated another smaller setting would give him the opportunity to hone his skills. In summary, during my observations of Elton he presented as being analytical in nature and he stressed several times that when he is working with someone in a position of authority that he focuses on understanding what that person expects of him and then he attempt to change his behavior to meet that persons expectations. Elton recognizes that this process can be stressful for him until he has an understanding of those expectations. This process can often result in Elton asking numerous questions in an intense manner that could possibly be experienced as being challenging. Although much of the feedback Elton received in the meetings on 10/11/11 and 10/12/11 were challenging to hear, he was not defensive, he processed the information in a professional manner and was took responsibility when the situation called for. As noted above, both his field educator and the contact person for Super Duper Schools commended Elton for his professional demeanor during this process.

(Faculty Liaison Signature Required)

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Addendum to Learning Contract The following addendum is given when a student’s level of performance is marginal or poor. There may be more than one area that needs improvement, please use a separate form for each area e.g. use one form for time/ attendance issues and a separate form for issues related to marginal engagement skills. The purpose of this process is to assist the student to be successful. Directions

1. Please discuss areas of concern with the Faculty Liaison prior to completing this form. 2. Complete the form (complete all sections and use additional paper if needed). review with student, sign and

date the form Send a copy of the completed, signed form to the Faculty Liaison

A. Please describe the issue/behavior which needs to improve. Please be as specific (behavioral) as possible.

B. Please circle the objective(s) from the learning contract that the issue/behavior falls under e.g. time and attendance could be Objective 1, Objective 3 (if not prepared for meetings due to attendance), and objective 4. C. Please list what the responsibility of the student will be (please be as specific as possible. For example – The student will complete the Log/Journal Format form, Appendix K in Field Manual weekly. The student is to focus on the issues related to improving their engagement skills with clients. The student will send this electronically to the Field Educator by Monday morning (weekly). The student will come prepared to discuss the contents of the Log/Journal in weekly supervision with his/her Field Educator.

D. Please list what educational tools will be used to assist the student with learning e.g. journaling, video/audio taping etc.

E. Please list what the responsibility of the Field Educator will be e.g. direct observation of the student, gathering communication from co-workers to assist with determining progress. For example - The Field Educator will review the weekly journal and be prepared to discuss observations and thoughts with student in weekly supervision. The field educator will gather information regarding the student’s progress by direct observation, input from co-workers, reviews of student’s documentation and (when appropriate) feedback from clients. The Field Educator will verbally provide feedback to the student in weekly supervision regarding progress and areas to continue to improve on.

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Faculty Liaison Handbook

Helpful Tips & Managing Difficult Issues

Objective 1: Identify as a professional social worker, apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice and conduct oneself accordingly. Objective 2: Engage diversity and dierence in practice to advance human rights and social and economic justice. Objective 3: Apply appropriate engagement skills (with individuals, groups, families, organization, and communities). Objective 4: Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver electives social work services. Objective 5: Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research. Objective 6: Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments to assess, intervene and evaluate individuals, families, organizations and communities.

Signature of field educator

Date

By signing below the student acknowledges and understands that this Addendum to the Learning Contract is a write notification to the student that the student may be in jeopardy of failing. If the student’s level of performance does not improve the result may be an unsuccessful grade in the field placement. Signature of student Signature of faculty liaison

Date Date

The student may list any comments or concerns:

25

Faculty liaison handbook (2013 14)  

A resource guide for UB SSW Faculty Liaisons. This document remains password protected on the web site, and is updated annually by the Fiel...

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